US Coins

Mint unveils bronze medal for WWII Marauders unit

Bronze duplicates of the congressional gold medal for Merrill’s Marauders depict the Marauders in Burma on the obverse, and on the reverse, the unit’s patch below a Bronze Star, and the Combat Infantry badge. The unit’s five major battles are inscribed around the border.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint.

Bronze duplicates of the congressional gold medal awarded to Merrill’s Marauders were listed on the U.S. Mint website in early June, with both versions described as “currently unavailable” as of June 16.

Bronze duplicate medals generally go on sale immediately upon the presentation of the congressional gold medal, which took place May 25, but it was unclear as of June 8 whether sales had begun. Mint officials had not responded to questions about the sales by June 8.

The 5307th Composite Unit Provisional, code-named Galahad, was a 3,000-member penetration unit formed in 1943 commanded by Brigadier General Frank Merrill. In several months in 1944, the unit trekked through rugged terrain in Burma, engaging the Imperial Japanese Army multiple times, often against much larger, better-equipped forces. Only 1,310 of the Marauders survived by the time the unit accomplished its final objective, capturing the Myitkyina airfield. Disease, combat, extremely difficult environment and terrain, and scant supplies took a heavy toll.

The congressional gold medal for Merrill’s Marauders is authorized under Public Law 116-170, enacted Oct. 27, 2020.

The medal was presented May 25, 2022, in a virtual ceremony hosted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Sales of the bronze duplicates were expected to begin around the same time.

Few survive

According to the Association of the United State Army website, only two of the marauders are still alive; three passed away in the month before the presentation.

Like other bronze duplicates of congressional gold medals offered by the Mint, two different sizes of the Merrill’s Marauders congressional gold medal bronze duplicates are listed — 1.5 inches and 3 inches. The 1.5-inch medal is priced at $20 each, the 3-inch medal at $160 each. The medals have a plain edge and are struck at the Philadelphia Mint.

The listing for the medals stated no mintage, product, or household order limit.

U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program Artist Ron Sanders designed the obverse of the medal and U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill sculpted it. AIP artist Richard Masters designed the reverse, which was sculpted by Medallic Artist Eric David Custer.

The obverse of the medal depicts men of the unit walking through a swamp, one leading a pack animal. The reverse depicts the unit badge at center against a backdrop of a mountainous region.

Statutory inscriptions appear on both sides.

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